A random survey reveals that a rise in price to cope with a situation of excess demand is considered unfair by 80% of the respondents. Pricing is considered less unfair as a decisionmaking procedure under recurrent situations than as a device to ration demand in a unique, fixed supply situation. Results contrasting with conventional economic theory are that traditional and administrative procedures are much preferred to pricing, and that an enlarged opportunity set leads to an even more negative evaluation of pricing. This may be explained by introducing ethical (‘just price change’) considerations into positive analysis.
Frey, B. S., &Pommerehne, W. W. (1993). On the fairness of pricing—an empirical survey among the general population. Journal of Economic Behavior &Organization, 20(3), 295-307.